Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' program to target minorities with high jobless rates
WASHINGTON — President Obama is planning to introduce an initiative with specific targets: African-American and Hispanic men who have disproportionate rates of unemployment.
Under the “My Brother's Keeper” program, foundations, businesses and community groups would develop plans to help men of color at particularly vulnerable times of their lives, administration officials said.
In previewing the initiative during last month's State of the Union address, Obama said, “I'm reaching out to some of America's leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential.”
Obama had planned to hold a White House event last week to officially present the project, but it has been postponed because of bad weather.
Among the challenges faced by the “My Brother's Keeper” program: The jobless rate for black men older than 20 in January was 12 percent, compared with 6.6 percent for the nation as a whole.
For Hispanic men older than 20, the jobless rate last month was 8.2 percent.
For younger blacks and Hispanics, unemployment rates are even higher.
One model for the new effort is a mentoring program in Chicago called “Becoming A Man,” which encourages young men to develop education and job training goals.
In a meeting with Obama a year ago, members of the BAM program talked about problems with gangs, drugs, gun violence and substandard schools in their neighborhoods, and how so many young people are at risk for lives of crime, poverty or early death.
Speaking after that meeting, the nation's first African-American president, who grew up with an absent father, said he told the group, “I had issues, too, when I was their age. I just had an environment that was a little more forgiving.”
Just as individuals have to change their approach and behavior, Obama said, “that's what it takes for communities to change. That's what it takes for countries to change. It's not easy.”
Young men in the BAM program are expected to attend the White House ceremony whenever it is re-scheduled.
Two Obama administration officials discussed the “My Brother's Keeper” program on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt Obama's announcement.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Carnegie Mellon expert to school Congress on security
- Tribune-Review poll: Cable news rises as network news falls
- Lawmakers press Veterans Affairs for improved access to rural health care
- Most young Republicans back legal marijuana
- Railroad measure awaits House approval
- Dems keep blocking joint negotiations on immigration orders
- Natural gas royalties lawsuit hinges on transaction date
- Monarch butterflies find milkweed supply dwindles
- Several states in path of wintry blasts
- Hillary Clinton may have broken federal record-keeping laws, New York Times reports
- EPA ripped for evading request for information